Today is the 26 six year anniversary of one of the dumbest things I ever did, which was to marry my first husband. He used to call me or send me texts to wish me a happy un-anniversary, but since I’ve been with J those have tapered off.
By now, since it’s evening, I was already married. We’d driven to South Dakota (where a marriage license can be obtained immediately) with my soon to be brother and sister in law. I had a wedding dress in a bag and we stopped at a flower shop so I could buy roses and tape and caspia and ribbon and wire, to make us all flowers to wear.
It was a long road trip. We ate leftover frosted Christmas cookies and talked and laughed. I was 21 years old, and thought I knew how the rest of my life was going to go. I was going to marry this man, and my best friend was going to marry his brother, and we were going to live happily ever after. That’s the parts I had worked out, anyway.
We were married in a judges office. It was basically a small library with a desk. The judge was a lady in her fifties who probably surmised we were making a huge mistake, but had a job to do anyway. My soon to be husband had the moon-y-est look as he said his vows, I think my friend developed a crush on him at that very moment.
We went to dinner at a steakhouse, but all we could really think about was getting back to our hotel room. I wanted to call my family and tell them, which made me regret eloping without them. I didn’t call. We had agreed to keep it a secret and go ahead with a real wedding for our families.
Instead we put on our swim suits and spent the rest of the evening celebrating with our friends at the hotel pool and whirlpool.
Just like people, marriages are not all good or not all bad. There was a reason I married him. He was sweet, he made me laugh. I got along well with his family and I could picture a life time of Christmas holidays together. He worked hard, and he was madly in love with me. I feel pretty confident in saying I was the best girl he ever had. It’s hard to find a good woman when you don’t drive, work, or do anything except drugs.
I might even feel a little smug.
These days I don’t celebrate the date. I more try not to remember it, which, given its proximity to Christmas, hardly ever works.
It kind of makes me cringe now, to think about how young and dumb I was. But then I remember Bunny, who is by far the best thing I’ve ever done, and I know I wouldn’t have her if not for that dumb thing I did.
It all works out in the end.